Washington’s biggest fishing day of the year – the lowland lakes trout opener – is set for Saturday, April 26. State fish hatchery crews are getting ready by releasing millions of catchable fish in lakes across the state.
For this year’s fishing season, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to plant nearly 16.5 million trout and kokanee in hundreds of lakes on both sides of the Cascades.
Those fish include 2.3 million catchable trout, nearly 115,000 jumbo trout weighing up to 11 pounds apiece, and more than 50,000 triploid trout averaging 1½ pounds each. Millions of carry-over trout that were stocked last year have grown to catchable size will also be available in lakes throughout the state.
Crews began this year’s stocking program in March and will continue through June. All opening day lakes will be stocked prior to the opener on April 26.
Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager, reminds anglers to make sure they have a current Washington freshwater fishing license, valid through March 31, 2015. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or from about 700 license dealers across the state. For license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.